By Bharat Rajani
Education is the form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussions, training, and research.
But when we talk about women education it is not as easy as to say ‘educating a woman’. It doesn’t end here. It is a catch of-all term for a complex set of issues and debates surrounding education (primary education, secondary education, tertiary education and health education in particular) for girls and women.
India, the golden bird, a legendary land where people worship Goddess “Saraswati” as the Goddess of education, which structured the very foundation of Education. It is India who gave language to this world, introduced zero (shoonya ‘0’), made this world aware of the smallest particle with which a substance is made (i.e ‘parmanu’). The only land to celebrate Teachers’ Day lags behind Education, especially in Women Education 65.46%.
It is our right to be educated. The Indian Government framed various policies like National Literacy Mission, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Mahila Samakhya Programme, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme, National Programme for the education of Girls at Elementry Level and various non-governmental efforts like Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation the literacy rate strengthened but not with that expected pace.
Why is the female literacy rate low in India?
The negative attitude of parents towards the girl child and her education is one of the major reasons for low female literacy rate in India. In most of the families, boys at home are given priority in terms of education but girls are not treated in the same way. Right from the beginning, parents do not consider girls as earning members of their family, as after marriage they have to leave their parents’ home. So their education is just considered as a wastage of money as well as time. For this reason, parents prefer to send boys to schools but not girls.
Poverty is the root cause of many problems in India and also of low female literacy rate. More than one-third of the population in India is living below the poverty line. Though the government is putting efforts to make the primary education free, still parents are not ready to send their girls to school.
In most of the rural areas, lack of easy accessibility to school is another reason for low female literacy rate. Parents do not prefer to send girls to schools if these are located at a far distance from their village or home. Even if schools are there then lack of adequate school facilities becomes a hurdle. Some of the schools are really in pathetic conditions and do not have even basic facilities. As per a survey, 54% of schools in Uttar Pradesh do not have water facility and 80% do not have latrine facilities. Even some schools do not have enough rooms to accommodate all the students.
Another barrier to female education in India is the lack of female teachers. As India is a gender-segregated society, it is a very important factor in the low female literacy rate in India. Living in the 21st Century, talking of “Make in India, Made in India”, makes us forget that still we are old-jacketed fashioned.
The question is intact ‘Whats the use of Women Education? , Is it necessary? , What is its importance?
First of all, we need to eradicate this thinking ‘Women Education is an investment which will not yield any return’ rather we need to see her as a valuable asset of the country. Contributing to such asset will yield to the economic growth of the country.
Why is Women Education necessary?
If a woman is educated, she will not be like a Gold-Egg breeding Hen.
She will be an asset to this country. An asset which can’t be misused.
An asset who can stand on her own feet.
An asset, who can’t be overpowered, harassed, beaten, cheated, and befooled.
An asset who can support the family in a stronger way.
An asset who can financially support her family.
An asset who can work to overcome the family’s financial crisis.
An asset who can be masters of her own.
Imagine, our sisters, mothers getting independent. Women, the backbone of the family. I feel honor and pride. Don’t you?
With the rising women literacy rate, we find a new picture of India with better family planning diminishing infant mortality, child mortality. That insists us to know the importance of women education.
Importance of Women Education
1. Girls who attend school also are able to use more effective methods of family planning and therefore have fewer and healthier babies.
2. An educated girl and woman will have learned about HIV/AIDS and know many different ways to protect herself from getting the disease.
3. Lower maternal mortality rates i.e an educated woman reduce the risk by 50%.
4. These women also can read nutritional labels and provide their family with healthy meals that promote growth and lower cholesterol.
5. Increased number of women with jobs and higher earnings and thus contribute to economic growth.
6. An educated woman reduces the chances of her child dying i.e Infant Mortality Rate before the age of five.
1. Talking about Employment Opportunities there is a need to rotate the neck 360o and look around. Educated women are employed in Corporate Houses, Educational Institutes and Self-Employed too.
2. Women in India work and contribute to the economy in one form or another, much of their work is not documented or accounted for in official statistics.
3. Women plow fields and harvest crops while working on farms, women weave and make handicrafts while working in household industries, women sell food and gather wood while working in the informal sector.
4. There has been a trend of increasing women employment whether it is Corporate Sector, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Government Jobs, Hospitals, Law Firms, Marketing Firms, Factories, Boutiques, and Beauty Parlor etc.
5. In fact, the share of women employed in the nonagricultural sector is the share of female workers in the non-agricultural sector (industry and services), expressed as a percentage of total employment in the non-agricultural sector.
6. The industry includes mining and quarrying (including oil production), construction, electricity, gas, and water.
This share has been increasing since 1985 which was around 12% at that time and rose to 19% in 2001. Now, again in 2011, it took a jump to 26%.
The demand of the situation is Women Education Because,
“Jab padhegi nari, tabhi badhegi nari,
Tab hi badhega ye desh
Hogi tarakki, khushali har taraf
Tabhi badhega ye desh
Jab padhegi nari, tabhi to badhegi nari.”
Formatted on 16th February 2019.